In this issue:
· Something Old, New, Reclaimed for New Condo
· South Park Slope Breaks Ground for Supportive Housing
· Goethe-Institut Opens Two New Downtown Spaces
· Contemporary Library Blends New and Old
· Digital Medium is Message at Public Communications School

Something Old, New, Reclaimed for New Condo

Steelworks House.


A 130,000-square-foot building, originally home to the Lewis Steel Products factory in the 1930s, is being converted to high-end loft condominiums containing 88 studio- to three-bedroom lofts. NY-based AvroKO was signed on by Fifth Square Partners to complete the concept and the creative marketing and branding. The design team decided to repurpose original site materials. Reclaimed lumber from the building was used to create shelving, interior details, and a rough-hewn wood reception desk for the lobby. The steel sash industrial window frames will be preserved and new energy-efficient windows installed. Each of the residences will feature custom-designed, handmade elements by local craftspeople, including Synchro, a contracting and architectural fabrication company.

New elements, such as steel mesh wall-coverings and polished concrete floors, aim to complement the reclaimed materials. Greener By Design will landscape the building’s 8,500-square-foot roof deck using organic fertilizers and non-chemical weed control, and incorporate low-voltage lighting and water-conserving irrigation systems. Other rooftop features include a skyline cinema, open air bungalows, communal kitchen, private rooftop cabanas, and stone fire pits. Gene Kaufman, Architect, is serving as project architect.

South Park Slope Breaks Ground for Supportive Housing

575 Fifth Avenue.

Amie Gross Architects

Amie Gross Architects recently broke ground on a new 30,000-square-foot, five-story supportive housing project in South Park Slope, Brooklyn. The mixed-use development will provide studio apartments and social services for 48 individuals in need, including the elderly, formerly homeless, and young adults coming out of foster care, as well as street level retail, and office and community space for supportive services. The building has been designed to achieve a LEED Gold rating and will be one of the first LEED-rated publicly-funded buildings in Brooklyn. The Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), a not-for-profit that creates affordable housing in South Brooklyn, is developing the project.

Goethe-Institut Opens Two New Downtown Spaces

Goethe-Institut New York.

Courtesy Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut New York, which organizes and hosts German cultural events and promotes international cultural exchange, has opened a second satellite space called the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building in the Bowery Arts District. The space will formally open in March 2009 after a renovation by Berlin-based architects ifau (Institut für angewandte Urbanistik/Institute for Applied Urbanism) + Jesko Fezer, a firm focused on interrelated, interdisciplinary projects — including architectural and urban design, research, installations, and events in the urban context. The Institut recently opened another downtown satellite space, Ludlow 38, designed by artists Ethan Breckenridge and Liam Gillick. The space, programmed by Kunstverein München, will exhibit contemporary art.

Contemporary Library Blends New and Old

Mamaroneck Library.

BKSK Architects.

Ground was recently broken on the 13,000-square-foot addition to the Mamaroneck Public Library in Westchester County. BKSK Architects designed the addition to the existing 21,000-square-foot library, a portion of which dates back to 1927. Façade materials, column design, and box patterns are meant to blend old with new. The library’s original 1927 reading room was also restored, and a new children’s wing, dedicated teen area, expanded public computer space, enlarged community meeting facilities, a coffee bar, and outdoor terrace will meet current and anticipated future needs of library patrons. The new facility incorporates energy-efficient building systems, a green roof, sustainable materials, and natural light — elements that will enable the library to qualify for LEED Silver. Completion is slated for spring 2010.

Digital Medium is Message at Public Communications School

Newhouse III.


Poulin + Morris, a multidisciplinary design consultancy, has completed work on Newhouse III, the latest addition to the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Completed in 2008, the glass-wrapped building, designed by Polshek Partnership, supports the integration of students and specialties by housing community spaces including dining facilities, student lounges, an auditorium, a conference center, classrooms, offices, editing suites, media labs, and research centers (see OCULUS, Winter 2007/08). Poulin + Morris was responsible for the design of a comprehensive donor recognition and environmental graphics program. The solutions rely on visual metaphor and technology to communicate the foundation and future mission the journalism school. A donor wall in the entrance lobby uses more than 100 staggered, horizontal LED digital panels. In addition, two typographic wall murals are located in the atrium; one identifies school programs spanning three stories, and another celebrates the First Amendment.